Photography credit: Myles J Burrell
Normanton Street are a soul/hip hop group consisting of Ned Archibong, Nicholson Davids, Phoebe Freya, and Nico Standing. They stand out with 3 varied vocals from Phoebe’s soulful singing, to the lyrical raps of Nicholson and Ned – all backed by groovy instrumentation with a clear jazz influence.
The band have been making waves across the UK, with gigs and festivals across Europe taking them even further and massive support billings for acts like renowned rapper Talib Kweli and British spoken word artist Kate Tempest.
2016 has already been a great year for Normanton Street with the release of a 6-part documentary, a hot new single, and a performance at the massive US music festival SXSW in Texas. On the back of their rising success we got Normanton Street’s Nicholson to talk to us a bit about the band and himself.
How did you all meet and form Normanton Street?
Ned and I grew up together on the same street in Bradford from the age of 8. We moved to brighton in 2011 where we met Phoebe and Nico.
What’s the meaning behind the name – ‘Normanton Street’?
It’s the place where we first moved to in Brighton. Just off Elm Grove.
The past few years have been crazy for you all with loads of gigs and supporting legendary artists like Talib Kweli, how has it felt for you guys?
It’s been amazing. Never thought we’d be doing so many shows, especially support slots like that. Much more to come though still.
How did your successful crowdfunder to play at SXSW come about?
We were asked to perform at one of the showcases over at the festival which was incredible. Unfortunately travel expenses were not included which was all good so we decided to do a crowdfunder campaign. Luckily we raised the full amount needed to get us over there.
What has been your favourite experience so far making and playing music as a group?
Personally for me it was last summer being out on the road between loads of different cities and countries around Europe. It was one of those ‘I can’t believe this is happening’ moments.
If you could choose to work with any artist/musician, past or present, who would you choose and why?
There are quite a few and this answer is always different every time. Right now I’m going to say Fela Kuti.
Imagine you are stuck on a desert island and can only take one track to listen to and one possession what would you choose?
Doomsday – MF Doom
A laptop (providing it had a built-in soundcard, mic and ableton).
If you can choose, which of your own tracks would you say is your favourite or you are most proud of?
Our latest release ‘Take Time’. I think it shows the variety of our vocals, I like dancing to it and it also pops off live.
What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
The production of this next EP is real good. Shout man like Kristoff and Dyre. We were really strict with what the tracks we’ve selected to put on here so I guess you’re going to get our best stuff at the moment.
What advice would you give to any other aspiring musicians and producers?
If you like every aspect of it, do your thing and never stop.
Life’s Real EP – Releases July 15th
YouTube – youtube.com/normantonstreet
Website – normantonstreet.com
Facebook – facebook.com/normantonstreetofficial
Twitter – twitter.com/NormantonStreet